Slice and Bake Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

Light and flavorful cranberry pistachio icebox cookies. Slice, bake and enjoy! A fun seasonal cookie with with a festive burst of flavor and color! A must make for holiday parties and cookie exchanges!

Light and flavorful slice and bake cranberry pistachio cookie recipe from @bakedbyrachel

It’s safe to say that it’s officially Christmas season since Thanksgiving has now passed. I’m feeling like the holiday season is just what I needed to kickstart my productivity levels. It’s been so easy to cozy up and not get stuff done. Then again, I’ve gotten a ton done, it just doesn’t alway show … unless you happen to see the boxes piling up of gifts to wrap. That, I’ve definitely been very productive at. I’m nearly done. I’m just waiting on a few last ones to see if by some random chance that they go on sale. My chances are slim.

Our tree is up. Our window lights are glowing. The stocking aren’t hung up quite yet, but they will be soon. Our mantel is the most festive it’s ever been – packed full of snow globes and nutcrackers. It’s feeling very Christmasy in here. Last week I thought there might be a slight chance we’d get our tree up early, before Thanksgiving. It didn’t happen. And that’s totally fine. We have always waited until the weekend after Thanksgiving to start decorating. I was just a tiny bit ahead of schedule this year. We do get an extra week out of the tree this year though, since Thanksgiving was early. It’s a safe bet that I’ll be sick of it by Christmas and will want it taken down before the end of the year, or at the very latest, New Year.

How long do you keep your decorations up?

Light and flavorful slice and bake cranberry pistachio cookie recipe from @bakedbyrachel

It seems fitting to kick off the Christmas season with cookies. Get a head start on cookie baking by whipping up a super easy, slice and bake treat! The beauty of icebox or refrigerator cookies is just that… they chill in the fridge until you’re ready to slice and bake! Whip up a batch and keep chilled until you’re ready to bake!

These are an absolute must make for the holiday season. Santa would love a few waiting for him and they’re sure to be a hit at cookie exchanges as well!

These light and flavorful slight and bake cranberry pistachio cookies are sure to be a new family favorite! Add them to the top of your holiday baking list!

Light and flavorful slice and bake cranberry pistachio cookie recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Slice and Bake Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

Light and flavorful slice and bake cranberry pistachio cookies. A fun seasonal cookie with with a festive burst of flavor and color! A must make for holiday parties and cookie exchanges!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time1 day
Course: Dessert
Servings: 2 dozen


  • 1 C fresh cranberries
  • 1 C unsalted pistachios shells removed
  • 1 C unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 3 C all purpose flour


  • In a food processor, add cranberries and pistachios. Blend until roughly chopped. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in one egg at a time, followed by baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add one cup of flour at a time, scraping between additions if necessary. Lastly, mix in chopped cranberries and pistachios. Mix until evenly dispersed and no streaks remain. For easy shaping, chill dough for 30-60 minutes. 
  • Divide dough in half. Place one half of the dough on a single large sheet of wax paper. Shape into a smooth log. Wrap in the wax paper. Tape ends if desired. Transfer shaped log of dough to the fridge. To prevent flat sides, place dough log inside of two large drinking glasses or the center of a paper towel roll, cut lengthwise. 
  • Repeat with remaining dough. Chill for at least 24 hours. Gently roll log to check for any flat spots prior to slicing and baking. If desired, dough may be rolled in sanding sugar or coarse sugar prior to slicing. 
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Carefully slice 1/4-inch thick slices. Space roughly 1-2 inches apart on a baking sheet line with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Keep any remaining dough chilled until ready to bake. 
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges begin to turn light golden. Allow cookes to rest on the pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • Store cookies in an airtight container for up to several weeks. 


An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

Items used in this recipe:

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Light and flavorful cranberry pistachio cookie recipe from @bakedbyrachel
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59 Responses to “Slice and Bake Cranberry Pistachio Cookies”

  1. #
    Karissa — November 30, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Hello! These look great. Was wondering the diameter you used for shaping the dough logs? I see you cut them at a quarter inch thick, but don’t see diameter. Maybe I missed it. Thanks!

    • #
      Rachel — December 1, 2017 at 6:59 am

      For a good diameter, shape to roughly 12 inches long.

  2. #
    Dana McCarson — December 8, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Did you mean whole fresh cranberries ?

    • #
      Rachel — December 9, 2017 at 8:18 am

      That is what fresh cranberries means. :) Enjoy!

  3. #
    Julie — December 12, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Can I use dried cranberries ?
    If so does it change anything in the recipe?
    Can’t wait to try it
    Thank you

    • #
      Rachel — December 13, 2017 at 10:15 am

      I’d recommend sticking with fresh (or frozen, but thawed).

  4. #
    Karen — December 15, 2017 at 7:51 am

    I’m not able to get fresh cranberries, but I have craisins and will try a batch using them.

  5. #
    Adriana — December 23, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Looks incredible. I’m still not clear about the cranberries. Do you mean the ones you buy in a plastic bag that you need to heat along with other ingredients to make cranberry sauce? Those just go in with pistachio?

    • #
      Rachel — December 26, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Yes, you can find fresh cranberries in the produce section. Alternatively you can use frozen cranberries, fully thawed.

  6. #
    Summer Albers — February 16, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    I made these cookies over the Christmas holidays while my family was visiting. Both my mother and sister commented that they were their favorite cookie I have ever made! (And I have baked a lot of cookies)
    Today I am baking them again but I’ve decided to try a different twist. I have a bag of dried figs in my pantry so I am going to substitute figs for the cranberries and switch my nuts to either pecans or walnuts, and keeping the orange zest.
    Thank you for the recipe and the inspiration.

    • #
      Sandy — December 28, 2020 at 10:09 am

      Hi Chef
      I’ve these cookies but they always spread and flatten when baked and never maintain the intended shape.
      Any suggestions on what I may be doing wrong?

    • #
      Rachel — January 5, 2021 at 6:28 am

      Be sure to measure everything exactly as written and bake chilled cookies. The dough should not be soft when transferring to the oven.

  7. #
    Summer Albers — February 16, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    In reading the other comments I realize your recipe called for fresh cranberries. When I made my batch I used the dried and the were delicious!

    • #
      Rachel — February 18, 2018 at 8:12 am

      So glad everyone enjoyed them, Summer! Thanks for sharing! :)

  8. #
    Gabby — April 8, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    This recipe is amazing! I give it five stars it just has the perfect texture, sweetness and flavor all together.
    Thank you very much for this wonderful recipe!

    • #
      Rachel — April 19, 2018 at 9:24 am

      So glad you enjoyed the cookies, Gabby! :)

  9. #
    Patricia — November 17, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    How many dozen does this recipe make and what is the approximate diameter of baked cookies. I’m looking for a recipe foe a cookie exchange; look great, but have to make 13 dozen, which is why I need to quantity.

    • #
      Rachel — November 18, 2018 at 6:43 pm

      This recipe makes roughly 2 dozen 1/4″ thick cookies. This will vary depending on how thick your cookie logs are shaped.

  10. #
    Terri — November 26, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    I used frozen cranberries – completely thawed – and what a mess! They stained all of the dough so now it’s a light pink. Pretty disappointed. The people who have made this – anyone else use frozen cranberries and we’re successful?

    • #
      Rachel — November 28, 2018 at 7:17 am

      That can happen due to the extra moisture when thawing. If you allow them to sit longer after thawing, you may be more successful. The flavor should still be the same or similar, but possibly with a slightly tinted cookie. An alternative that others have had success with is using dried cranberries, if you do not have access to fresh cranberries.

  11. #
    falisha — November 26, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Hello Rachel, the taste came out great my only problem is that is came out cakey like instead of crunchy cookie like. what did i do wrong?

    • #
      Rachel — November 28, 2018 at 7:14 am

      If your slices were thicker than mine, then they may have needed a little longer in the oven. Your oven may also be cooking at a different temperature (they’re unfortunately not all as exact as they should be).

  12. #
    Elizabeth — November 28, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Do you know whether or not I could freeze a completed cookie dough log and then just thaw it before slicing and baking?

    • #
      Rachel — December 1, 2018 at 10:49 am

      I’m sure that would be fine. The only thing to consider would be that when the cranberries are thawing, they may add extra moisture to the cookies. You may be better off shaping and chilling the dough, then slicing and freezing in discs instead. Many have luck baking cookie dough straight from the freezer, though I have not tried that with this particular recipe. Good luck!

  13. #
    Jo — December 1, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Could I switch out the nuts for white chocolate?

    • #
      Rachel — December 2, 2018 at 8:32 am

      Absolutely! Enjoy! :)

  14. #
    Debra Encallado — December 8, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    I can only find lightly salted pistachios. Can I use those and just eliminate the 1/2 tsp of salt?

    • #
      Rachel — December 10, 2018 at 7:01 am

      Those will work just fine. I used lightly salted and did not find the cookies to be salty, but you can absolutely eliminate or reduce the overall salt if you prefer. Enjoy! :)

    • #
      Martina — December 22, 2020 at 1:01 pm

      How much is 1 cup of butter? For us that measure in grams ;) Thanks

    • #
      Rachel — December 23, 2020 at 8:00 am

      There are a lot of free conversion calculators that can be used in the future! :) But it appears to be around 227g.

  15. #
    Karen B — December 21, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Should I use one cup of unshelled pistachios (which is what I bought, no time to shell them!) or did you mean one cup of pistachios, shelled?

    • #
      Rachel — December 21, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      No shells should be used. Shelled pistachios (meaning shells removed), either purchased this way or done at home, is what the recipe calls for. Enjoy! :)

  16. #
    Lin and Kev — December 21, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Delicious and very easy to make

    • #
      Rachel — December 21, 2018 at 8:38 pm

      So glad you enjoyed them!

  17. #
    Terri C. — January 1, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you for this recipe. It’s a good one. I made it yesterday using dried cherries, finely chopped almonds, and almond extract in place of cranberries and pistachios, as pictured in the link below. They have great flavor and a slightly chewy interior.

    • #
      Rachel — January 3, 2020 at 9:40 am

      They look great! I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Thank you for sharing, Terri! :)

  18. #
    Anu — May 20, 2020 at 1:57 am

    If I want to make eggless cookies what alternative should I use

    • #
      Rachel — May 26, 2020 at 8:42 am

      Typically you can substitute with applesauce or banana in a lot of recipes. I haven’t tested either with this particular recipe though so I can’t promise how they’ll turn out. Good luck!

  19. #
    Julie — October 19, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    These look wonderful. Can I sub out regular flour for gluten free?

    • #
      Rachel — October 23, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      If you have a 1:1 gluten free flour then it should work fine. Otherwise, there may be changes you’d have to make for it to work properly.

  20. #
    Adrienne — December 17, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    Hi Rachel… I have a question… do you have a recommendation for how the slice the chilled log to not alter the round shape. I make another chilled cookie dough recipe and struggle with perfect roundness. Ive tried warm knife, fishing line etc 🤷‍♀️The storing between two large drinking glasses is brilliant… creative solution I came up with myself a few years ago. Another question… How long should the dough be out of the fridge before slicing? These are the two issues I struggled with last year. I would love to hear your thoughts and also how you get your cookies rolled so perfectly round? Thank you for using fresh cranberries!!! I personally think craisins are a travesty…why would one oil and sugar a perfect berry? I have finally sourced just plain unaltered dried cranberries and love them so… but very excited that this recipe uses fresh cranberries… they sound and look delish!! 🙂 Thank you for sharing❤🌲☃️❄🇨🇦

    • #
      Rachel — December 19, 2020 at 10:56 am

      Be sure to use a sharp knife when slicing. I slice straight from the fridge on a cutting board. If you’re having trouble keeping them round while they firm up, be sure to check on them every couple of hours and rotate the dough-logs. Glasses work wonderful, but you can also wrap them in leftover wrapping paper tubes or other similar items. Once your cookies have been sliced, you can always gently reshape before they’re baked.

  21. #
    Jen — December 21, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Any chance you’ve ever tried it without orange zest? I don’t have an orange and I don’t love orange in baked goods either…

    • #
      Rachel — December 22, 2020 at 5:57 am

      Where it’s just zest, you can absolutely skip it if you’re not a fan.

  22. #
    Jacqui — November 10, 2021 at 4:14 am

    HI Rachel,
    Is it possible to use dried cranberries?
    Should I soak them to plump them first?

    Looking forward to bake them as gifts for Christmas.

    • #
      Rachel — November 10, 2021 at 11:40 am

      If you substitute with dried cranberries, use them as is. Slicing the dough may be a bit more challenging due to their texture but they should otherwise still bake well and taste great. Enjoy!

  23. #
    Alice — December 18, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    I just put these together, adding a little fiori di sicilia extract, and grated lemon instead of orange. I can’t wait to bake and taste these!rhese!

  24. #
    L.Mazzarello — December 20, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Do you use craisins or real fresh cranberries?

    • #
      Rachel — December 22, 2021 at 5:54 am

      Fresh cranberries are used for this recipe. If you don’t have fresh available to you, substituting with dried shouldn’t be an issue.

  25. #
    Kalie — December 23, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    This will be my third year making these cookies and they are a huge hit with anyone who tries them! Easily my favorite cookie of all time, so delicious!

    • #
      Rachel — December 23, 2021 at 5:50 pm

      So glad everyone has enjoyed them so much! Thanks for sharing, Kalie! :)

  26. #
    Olivia Burkholder — February 22, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    Can dried cranberries be substituted for fresh?

    • #
      Rachel — February 24, 2022 at 12:51 pm

      Absolutely. I’ve heard positive reviews from people who have substituted dried when fresh wasn’t available. Keep in mind, you may want to chop them prior to adding to the dough.

  27. #
    Katie Ritzman — October 30, 2022 at 3:13 am

    Do they freeze well after baking?

    • #
      Rachel — October 31, 2022 at 8:02 am

      I imagine they would freeze well but I haven’t personally done so.

  28. #
    Grace — November 18, 2022 at 10:00 pm

    Amazing cookies! I squeezed the orange into the batch as well and they’re delicious :) Thanks for this!

    • #
      Rachel — November 19, 2022 at 4:39 pm

      So glad you enjoyed them!

  29. #
    Carmen VanVliet — December 23, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    Can I possibly make these coolies as regular cookies, I,e, roll in a ball and flatten, instead of slice and bake?

    Thanks – they look incredible and I have the fresh cranberries and unsalted pistachios on hand!

    • #
      Rachel — December 24, 2022 at 4:36 pm

      I haven’t tried with that method but it would still require much chilling as the sliced or shaped cookies need a good long chill to be firm prior to cooking.

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